The brand name speaks of quality and craftsmanship, of seamanship and style. Riva might have started repairing local fishing boats at Sarnico, on Lake Iseo in 1842, but successive generations of the Riva family have cultivated a brand that stands for excellence and style.
When a new Riva is announced to the world, many wonder may why Hong Kong? After all, Riva’s entire history and identity is so deeply rooted in Italy. The Ferretti Group has become a major name in Asia since it opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters there in 2013, shortly after Shandong Heavy Industry purchased the Group in 2012. Since then, Shandong has invested heavily in the development of Ferretti, and nowhere more so than in Asia. Stefano de Vivo, Ferretti Group Chief Commercial Officer, points out that there are about 160 yachts from the Ferretti Group in Asia, and “we are now well placed to look after them – and our customers – from our regional office and through our service centre in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. The Ferretti Group is financially strong, meaning that they can afford to re-invest in the continuous development of new models.” Stefano de Vivo reminds us that “this is the biggest 100’ yacht on the market,” referring to her interior volumes as well as its gross tonnage, and it is executed so artfully that every inch counts.
The devil’s in the details, as the saying goes. However, if you add up the details of the Riva 100 Corsaro, you arrive at something much greater than the sum of the parts. Stand back and consider the exterior lines of this 100’ beauty, and you will note the unusually high bow which allows for a social area in its own right on the foredeck. The straight-through line of dark glazing from bow to stern is underscored by a secondary ‘stripe’ on the lower deck, and the whole comes together in a forceful, almost aggressive bow profile. Riva calls it ‘the arrowhead’, and it fits perfectly with the notion of the ‘Corsaro’, or ‘Corsair’. Riva were so successful at keeping the Corsaro #1 ‘under wraps’ before she departed from Italy that the European owner of hull #2 (in build) was obliged to fly out to Hong Kong to take a look at the finished product! De Vivo also reported that three of the first seven 100 Corsaros have been sold in Asia. The official presentation of the Riva 100 Corsaro, was on a cold and rainy day in Hong Kong, but that’s never going to keep a Riva from sparkling. Moored stern-to in Mediterranean style, this magnificent yacht at first sight is very powerful and large.
Stepping aboard onto the expansive swim platform, the twin stern stairways leads onto the spacious and welcoming aft deck. The cockpit sports a huge sofa, and free seating around a table for eight, and gives forward through to a main saloon with sofa seating to starboard and a TV that drops down from above – a space saving measure – to port. It’s an attractive and comfortable relaxation area, and when the TV is in the ‘up’ position, the view through the huge glazed areas is truly magnificent. Going forward, a cross-beam dining table for eight features chairs upholstered by Poltrona Frau, and additionally an opening balcony on the port side. Cocktails outdoors, hors d’oeuvres indoors?
Over the last couple of years, the Ferretti Group have paid a lot of attention to adapting European design to accommodate the substantially different usage enjoyed by owners of yachts in Asia. In Italy and around the Mediterranean and the Caribbean – still the number 1 habitat for big boats – yachts are most often used for extended cruises from port to port, with the owner and a complement of guests on board. Accommodation is therefore very important. However, this first Riva 100 Corsaro is laid out more for day-trip usage, with additional functionality for business and social entertainment purposes. So here, all the way forward, but still on the main deck where you might expect to find a full beam master suite, Riva have included a multi-function entertainment facility – lounging sofas, occasional tables and a TV as big as the bulkhead it is attached to. This is part of the Ferretti ‘Tai He Ban’ design ethos. You can’t fault an imagined progress through the main deck: from sundowners on the aft deck all the way through to after-dinner drinks in the entertainment lounge, it’s a natural and well-designed progression.
Of course, you can have a master suite on the main deck if you wish, but on this boat it has been moved to the lower deck, where it is joined by a VIP suite (double) and a further twin, all with ensuite bathrooms. The master bathroom is full-beam, too, with his-and-hers facilities duplicated at either end, and a grand shower area in the middle. The Captain’s and crew quarters (3 cabins, 5 berths) occupy the forward section of this deck. Even here, every detail and every finish is executed with the sort of quality that you expect from a great name like Riva. Very importantly, the Riva 100 Corsaro is a flybridge yacht.
This doesn’t mean, though, the addition of a small deck and a steering position above the main saloon. The flybridge here is another whole deck in its own right, stretching all the way from aft deck to directly over the forward entertainment suite. It is a colossal space, and looks even bigger because the lines of the sun deck continue straight through to the foredeck (although access from one to the other is not direct). It’s not an afterthought or an add-on: this sun deck is an integral part of an exquisite piece of design that marks out the yacht as something extra special.
The Riva brand is probably best known for its runabouts – boats such as the Aquariva – but now offers models up to 100’ and 110’ models and (coming soon) a 50m steel superyacht. These boats contain all the creature comforts and functionality of a premuim floating penthouse, and that is exactly what clients in this price bracket are looking for. Excellence, with no compromise. Ferretti Group have created a remarkable piece of engineering that involves an up-and-over transom garage door combined with a raise/drop deck that allows easy launch and recovery of the tender (and any ancillary toys) stowed in the garage. It is also a variable-height swim deck that facilitates guest access to the water or doubles as a lounging area for the sun worshippers. It’s a Ferretti Group signature item, a party piece, and it is just one of the many things that put an additional stamp of excellence on the Riva 100 Corsaro. Ferretti started building Rivas at their own headquarters, La Spezia, with the intention of widening the brand’s range of models. Today, thanks to the very latest in production techniques (but with no loss of attention to detail), the Riva range stretches from 27ft to 164ft, and still prides itself on building no-compromise boats that embody Italian flair and style, floating jewels of la dolce vita.